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CLEVELAND -- The city has new weapons in its battle to keep streets safer and makemoney in the process.

Five newmobile speed cameras just began operating. And 10 more are coming online soon.

It's reviving the debate about whether the cameras are being used more for safety or to collect money for the city.

Safety Director Marty Flask and Program Manager Lary Jones II answered questions early this afternoon.

The cameras will be moved from place to place and stay in locations for a week. The city plans to deploy many in school zones.

Their whereabouts will be posted on the city website, www.cleveland-oh.gov, and blog, clecityhall.com.

The units are capable of detecting speeders in both directions.

For now they will only monitor traffic on their side of the street, tracking speed just after their spot as cars are pulling away from them.

Warning signs will be posted to alert motorists about 100 feet from the unit.

Sign issues Thursday caused some citations to be voided at locations on Detroit Avenue and Pearl Road.

The units will replace six mobile units stationed in manned police cars.

The officers will be free to perform other duties.

Flask says that will save the city about $600,000 in personnel costs.

Flask says revenue from all the city's traffic cameras, fixed and mobile, amounts to about 1 percent of the city budget.

He argues cameras will prevent accidents and save lives.

The contract for the new cameras runs for four years.

If the legislature outlaws traffic cameras, the city will lose revenue but won't be out the cost of cameras, which are provided by the contractor.

The cost of violations is $100 for running a red light and speeding violations up to 24 mph over the limit.

Citations carry a price tag of $200 for more than 25 miles over the speed limit or speeding in a school zone or construction zone.

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